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1/23/22: Sunday in the Garden: Canning Grilled Peach Jelly

Master peach jelly, and you are officially a canner! If this were an online course, this would be your final project in the category, "Fruit jellies." Fruit juices are particularly foamy when they get to the peak boiling point, but peach juice is extra foamy. So the skill it takes to turn the heat down at two points in the process, and avoid a sticky-messy-hard-to-clean stove/stock pot/sink situation is even more critical when using peach juice.


This Sunday in the Garden post is related to the importance of preparation: cleaning and organizing your spaces to prepare for the influx of raw materials, either from the garden, or otherwise. In our case, at Tiger Gardens, we have four freezers, two gardens, and we get produce from the Farmer's Market. Somewhere mid-late August, it comes from everywhere, and the house needs to be as clean and organized as possible to maintain some kind of order. That's why we're starting early, and this weekend, we defrosted one freezer -- I'll also post that process and what we discovered at a later date. One of the things we discovered was a full bag of Georgia Peach juice, talk about striking gold! Our Grilled Peach Jelly always sells out at the Farmer's Market and won us 1st Place at the Champaign County Fair in 2021! We get peaches every year from the Tree Ripe Fruit Company They are delivered to Blain's Farm & Fleet in Urbana twice in July, and then I take the corresponding two weeks off of work so we can process the peaches. First, they sit out on a big comforter in our living room for 3+ days to ripen a bit, and then my husband grills them in batches. The skins peel right off, but I try not to be exact, because small pieces of black char look kind of cool in the finished jelly jar. Then, we make at least two batches of our Grilled Peach Salsa (for optimum freshness!) and get the rest of the peaches into gallon freezer bags. We let a few of the warm bags sit out at least overnight so that the warm peaches naturally produce their own juice, which is captured into other gallon bags (with four cups of juice each) that we use to make Grilled Peach Jelly.


If you are serious about learning how to can jellies and jams, then this is a Must-See video! The process is very specific and precise. Measurements and timing are key! Trust me, I learned the hard way. Hot fruit that boils over is sticky and messy at best. At worst, when it cools, it hardens, so it's much more difficult to clean than if the juice was cool and spilled. Thank goodness we have a glass-top stove! I can't even imagine the nightmare of cleaning hot, sticky, hardening fruit juice from older stove burners and the plates beneath them.

By the way, the MasterClass in canning jams is the process of re-setting jams that end up too runny. It's messy and complicated, and if you master this skill, you are a Master Canner!


*NOTE* We missed a week of Sunday in the Garden, because we were traveling last weekend 1/16/22. It is my intention to post an article and a video every Sunday night or Monday night at the latest. My New Year's Resolution and Word of 2022 = Intention!

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